Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Sheldon Adelson Files $60M Libel Suit Against National Jewish Democratic Council

Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino owner who has emerged as one of the country’s biggest Republican donors is proving once again that he's no pushover.

You'll remember I wrote about the disgusting and false charges promulgated by The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (the DCCC) libeling Mr. Adelson as a pimp who made money from prostitution.

Well, Sheldon Adelson's attorneys wrote these creeps a very direct letter promising to sue them right down to their underwear if they didn't publicly apologize and issue a retraction.

Not being total idiots, they did.

But apparently that kind of wisdom doesn't extend to the minions of the NJDC, an organization of left wing and largely secular Jews noted for being outrageous Obamabots.

They made sure the bogus charges appeared on a number of media outlets, and when they were contacted by Adelson's attorneys, they decided to double down.

So they've been hit with a $60 million lawsuit:

Mr. Adelson’s lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, names the Jewish council as well as two of its officials, David A. Harris and Marc R. Stanley. It seeks $10 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.

“Defendants’ goal was to advance their perceived political interests by assassinating Mr. Adelson’s character, punishing him for exercising his right to make monetary contributions to political causes and candidates of his choice, and demeaning him within the Jewish community,” the lawsuit alleges.

Their response is typically both ignorant and sleazy:

We will not be bullied into submission, and we will not be silenced by power. This is not Putin’s Russia, and in America, political speech regarding one of the most well-known public figures in our country is a fundamental right. One would think the person making greatest use of the Citizens United ruling would understand this. To be sure, referencing mainstream press accounts examining the conduct of a public figure and his business ventures—as we did—is wholly appropriate. Indeed, it is both an American and a Jewish obligation to ask hard questions of powerful individuals like Mr. Adelson, just as it is incumbent upon us to praise his wonderful philanthropic endeavors.

We know that we were well within our rights, and we will defend ourselves against this SLAPP suit as far and as long as necessary. We simply will not be bullied, and we will not be silenced.

I wouldn't expect the sort of people who populate the NJDC to know this, but there is actually a specific religious prohibition in Judaism against exactly this sort of thing. It's referred to as lashon hara or “evil tongue” and if anything provides a classic example, it's calling a political opponent a pimp. 'Jewish obligation' my eye!

This is also not even close to a SLAPP lawsuit. There's a big difference between merely criticizing a public figure and spreading allegations that he is a pimp. It's especially egregious given that one of Sheldon and Dr. Miriam Adelson's charities they fund is devoted to rescuing prostitutes from drug addiction, getting them off the streets and helping them build new lives.

This is not even close to legitimate, protected political speech. Saying that someone is profiting from prostitution is simply over the line, even in politics.

Even the DCCC realized that, and groveled to keep from being bankrupted.

Personally, I hope the NJDC doesn't back off one iota. There's nothing that would be more fitting them to see them as bankrupt financially as they are ideologically.

They may call themselves Jews, but to my mind they're simply vicious anti-semites.

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